September 15, 2017 / 6:27 PM / in 10 months

3rd Circuit derails Union Pacific retiree's case over pension payments

A U.S. appeals court on Friday rejected a former Union Pacific Corp vice president’s claim that the railroad improperly based his pension benefits on wages he would have earned while he was disabled and not working.

The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in the 2-1 ruling said Nebraska-based Union Pacific’s pension plan was ambiguous as to how it applied to workers like John Dowling whose careers were cut short by a disability. The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 grants plan administrators discretion in applying a plan’s ambiguous terms, as long as their interpretations are reasonable.

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